Our picks this week:
A deluxe box set celebrating Bob Dylan's 1978 world concert tour and the 45th anniversary of the artist's first concert appearances in Japan, The Complete Budokan 1978 includes two complete shows from Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan Hall (February 28 and March 1, 1978) featuring 58 tracks, 36 of which are previously unreleased.
The audio is newly remixed from the original 24-channel analog tapes. This luxurious 12 x 12” box is imported from Japan and includes 4 CD’s, a 60-page full-color photo book of liner notes and previously unpublished photos of Dylan on-stage and behind-the-scenes at the airport, press conferences and more and facsimile memorabilia such as concert tickets, pamphlets, posters, and flyers.
Another Budokan 1978 includes 16 specially selected tracks from the new Complete Budokan 1978 box set, newly mixed from the original 24-track analog tapes. All tracks are previously unreleased.
BMG’s comprehensive new collection Klark Kent (available as a Deluxe 2CD) set features newly remastered versions of all the original non-album singles, the full 1980 self-titled album, plus 2 unreleased studio recordings.
In addition, the 2CD version features 12 previously unreleased home demos, with exclusive liner notes by Kent himself.
Bryan Ferry’s ninth solo studio album ‘Mamouna’ is being reissued for the first time since 1994 and is being released on two deluxe formats. It was Bryan Ferry’s first studio album in seven years to feature original recordings, having worked on the album for six years under the working title of ‘Horoscope’. The previously unreleased alternate recordings to the final ‘Mamouna’ versions are collected for the first time on these deluxe reissues as the ‘Horoscope’ album.
The 2LP audiophile heavyweight vinyl was half-speed cut at Abbey Road Studios, London, by master engineer Miles Showell.
The 3CD version also includes the ‘Horoscope’ album, with an additional disc of previously unreleased demos or “Sketches” from both the ‘Mamouna’ and ‘Horoscope’ albums. The artwork direction for the updated reissue was overseen by Bryan Ferry himself.
The album features a stellar cast of supporting musicians including Nile Rodgers, Guy Pratt and Steve Ferrone, as well as contributions from his Roxy Music bandmates Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay and Brian Eno. The album peaked at Number 11 on the UK Official Album Chart and includes the singles ‘Don’t Want To Know’, ‘Your Painted Smile’ and title track ‘Mamouna’.
Frank Zappa - "Over-Nite Sensation" ver-Nite Sensation turns 50 years old. We present a 4-CD & 1-Blu-ray box set featuring the 2012 remaster of the album with bonus tracks from the original 1973 sessions. Also included are live recordings from 1973 shows at the Hollywood Palladium, LA and Cobo Hall, Detroit. The Blu-ray contains the album newly mixed in Dolby Atmos & 5.1, Zappa's original Quadraphonic mix, the 192/24 & 96/24 2012 stereo remaster. Packaging features unseen photos & new liner notes by Mark Smotroff & Joe Travers.
"ELO songs were always coming on the radio when I was growing up. They were a reliable source of pleasure and fascination (except for "Fire On High" which scared the heck out of me). With this album of covers I wanted to get my hands deep into some of the massive '70's hits but I am also shining a light on some of the later work ("Ordinary Dream" from 2001's "Zoom" album, "Secret Messages" and "'From The End Of The World", both from the '80's).
Thematically, I identify with the loneliness and alienation and the outerspace-iness in the songs I chose. (I have always felt like I am part alien, not fully belonging to or in this Earth world.) Sonically, ELO recordings are like an amusement park packed with fun musical games with layers and layers of varied, meticulous parts for your ears to explore; production curiosities; huge, gorgeous stacks of awe-inspiring vocal harmony puzzles. My task was to try and break all the things down and reconstruct them subtly until they felt like mine.
Overall I stuck pretty close to the originals' structures while figuring out new ways to express or reference the unique and beloved ELO string arrangements. An orchestra would have been difficult or impossible for me to manage to record, nor did I think there was any point in trying to copy those parts as they originally were. Why not try to reimagine them within my zone of limitations? In some cases I transposed string parts onto guitars, or keyboards, and I even sung some of them (as in "Showdown" and "Bluebird Is Dead").
Recording the album was a kind of complicated and drawn-out process since I was doing all of my tracks at home in my bedroom (drums and bass were done by Chris Anzalone and Ed Valauskas, respectively [in their own recording spaces]), and I kept running into technology problems that would frustrate me and slow me up. But eventually I got it all done. A labor of love." - Juliana
Featuring the genre's major bands, cult names, hits, rari7es and several previously unissued tracks. Although the power pop genre wasn't named and codified until late 1977, the sound and spirit had been slowly gathering steam throughout the decade.
Surrounded by heavy metal and introverted singer/songwriters, the likes of The Raspberries, Big Star, Blue Ash and The Wackers spearheaded an early 70s return to the spiky, three-minute pop urgency of the mid-60s British Invasion bands.
While only The Raspberries charted, such bands established a musical template that was adopted by a new raft of slightly younger acts including the Dwight Twilley Band, The Rubinoos and Shoes. The tide had turned by the late 70s, with such names as Cheap Trick and The Cars achieving success as the American music industry embraced power pop as a radio-friendly alternative to punk.
When The Knack emerged from nowhere to dominate the summer of 1979 with the single 'My Sharona' and the album 'Get The Knack', it was clear that the decade was ending with power pop established as a significant commercial proposition.
A chronologically-arranged set, 'Looking For The Magic' traces power pop's development throughout the Seventies as largely unsuccessful bands were afforded cult status by the burgeoning grass-roots fanzine network that nurtured them.
As well as featuring all of the aforementioned acts, we include the likes of Todd Rundgren, Flamin' Groovies, Sparks, Ramones and the USA-based 1979 revamp of Badfinger, one of the seminal prototypal power pop bands at the start of the decade. We also focus on a huge number of cult names and little-known acts, showcasing many tracks that were unissued at the time and even several cuts now gaining a first-ever release.
Housed in a clamshell box that includes a heavily annotated and illustrated 48-page booklet, 'Looking For The Magic' is a fascinating, highly entertaining celebration of a genre that went under the radar for most of it's formative years.